Troubled Kickstarter project yet to issue promised progress report
Backers of Primer Lab's Code Hero Kickstarter campaign have yet to recieve an update promised to appear on the first of the month.
The highly anticipated game promises to teach Unity game development, and itself runs in the Unity game engine, but backers began to question whether that vision would ever be realised after a three month period of silence from project head Alex Peake.
Peake admitted the project had run out of money, but calmed backers by promising more regular updates on the first of every month and releasing a new Alpha version of the game.
The January update, due on the first of the year, has not been published at time of writing.
Develop has attempted to contact Peake for comment, but has not received a response.
The last word of the project's development came on December 21, when Peake posted a comment on the Code Hero Kickstarter.
"We've been working steadily to get the new build ready and steady improvements have been coming together," said Peake, who said current efforts were going towards integrating a few undocumented Unity APIs to help polish the in-game code editor.
Dustin Deckard, who has become something of an impromptu spokesperson for the concerned backers, wrote again of his frustrations with the project, and suggested that the source code and assets be distributed.
"He hasn't been able and doesn't seem willing to explain where all the money went," Deckard wrote on the Kickstarter page.
"If he spent it all paying developers, where's the work they did for him? Where's the revamped artwork? Where are all of the new features?"
"But at this point I think Alex needs to let this project give up the ghost and distribute the source code and all assets, and write a detailed post-mortem..."
The controversy surrounding the project has given rise to increased skepticism about Kickstarter projects, and of crowdfunding in general.
As consumers take on a role formerly held by publishers, this skepticism may only be natural.
Still, for many it's a shame that skepticism could be born from a project that set out with such idealistic, educational goals.
"My biggest worry in all of this is that he'll essentially 'get away with it' (not to directly imply that this was planned), but just that everyone will sort of go about their ways," Deckard told Develop in an e-mail.
"I think it's important that in this age of crowd-funding, people know where the legal-obligation lines are drawn."
This story will be updated as more information becomes available, or the promised update is released.